EBRD launches $250m fund for MENA region renewables

The development bank is targeting four countries who use fossil fuels for the vast majority of their energy consumption.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching a $250 million fund to encourage private sector renewable investment in the Middle East and North Africa region. 

The EBRD will provide equity and debt funding to private companies building renewable capacity in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. EBRD partnered with the Climate Investment Funds' Clean Technology Fund, which is providing $35 million, and the Global Environment Facility with $15 million. 

The EBRD said it would first target renewable investments in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia, where fossil fuels accounts for the vast majority of energy consumption. The investment bank said reforms in these countries will allow energy to be sold directly to private sector consumers, and its investments would range from large-scale projects to small-scale generation in communities. 

“For the first time in this region the private sector is now able to produce and sell clean renewable energy on a commercial basis competing head to head with gas and oil-fired generation,” EBRD's director of power and energy utilities, Nandita Parshad, said in a statement. 

One of the first projects planned under the programme, the 120MW Khalladi wind farm in Morocco, is expected to begin construction soon. 

The EBRD's fund comes after Actis agreed a deal with Egypt to build a $350 million wind farm off the Gulf of Suez coast.

This article first appeared on Low Carbon Energy Investor , Infrastructure Investor's sister publication covering global energy transition markets.